FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Je-Vaughn Watson had a good feeling about Saturday night.
“I got the feeling before the game that I was going to score,” Watson said. “I told (Gershon) Koffie I was going to score. I told Kelyn (Rowe) I was going to score. It’s just a confidence.”
Watson’s instincts were ultimately proven prescient, as the veteran utility man scored the only goal in the 85th minute of the New England Revolution’s dramatic 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, latching onto a Chris Tierney corner kick after Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson misjudged the service.
The goal capped a sequence in which the Revolution were pouring the pressure on their visitors, as Johnson was forced into three saves – all from Diego Fagundez shots – in a 70-second span just before Watson’s breakthrough.
“We’ve been practicing that all week,” Watson said of the successful set piece. “I know Chris is going to hit the ball and I know the perfect spot he’s always putting it in. I was just focused on getting the ball in the back of the net.”
It was a moment that capped a remarkable week for Watson, who was one of the Revolution’s heroes in their midweek U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over the Philadelphia Union. Watson played the full 120 minutes in that match, scoring the Revolution’s only goal in regulation and converting the clinching spot-kick in the penalty shootout.
“Je-Vaughn is the guy, when you write his name down on the game sheet, you know exactly what you’re going to get,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “He’s going to leave it all on the field.”
Watson’s midweek goal in the Open Cup – his first in a Revolution jersey in his 19th appearance – was exactly what gave him the positive feeling heading into Saturday night.
“That’s the thing with me; whenever I score one goal, I just keep scoring,” Watson said. “When I used to play in Jamaica, when I used to play in Dallas, whenever I scored one goal, I just want to get off the mark.”
Watson admitted to being tired after playing 300 minutes in an eight-day span – “Mentally, I’m strong,” he said – but he was left satisfied as the Revs pushed their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games, capping a big week with a critical three points.
“The coaching staff and the players were happy because I think we deserve it,” Watson said. “I know all the guys are tired, so we were just digging, digging, digging. We never gave up and we never gave them any chances. That’s a plus.
“We came away with a clean sheet and three points, so that’s good.”